Inka textile devices served as business ledgers
In the Aug. 12 edition of the journal Science, Harvard University anthropologist Gary Urton and database developer Carrie Brezine say their computer analysis of 21 of the knotted objects, known as "khipu," revealed distinct patterns that help confirm the textile devices were used for record keeping and to communicate affairs of state throughout the sprawling empire of the Inka--a spelling Urton prefers because it is closer to the native Peruvian language.
Seven of the objects appeared to contain cumulative numerical data.
|Massive Inka construction projects like the city of Machu Picchu in Peru, required detailed record keeping of finances and labor. New research shows that knotted strings known as "khipus" probably served as ledgers. (Photo: NASA)|
According to Urton, khipu were used "to record the information deemed most important to the state, which often included accounting and other data related to censuses, finance and the military. In this regard," he said, 'the discovery that khipu were used as ledger books reveals a new consonance between the Inka and other ancient cultures."
This site is no longer updated.
Click this link to have updated paleontology news and articles.
About the Author
©2005 All rights reserved